Were there Three Impacts? - Collision


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Aaron_2016

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Survivors described three sensations as the Titanic struck the iceberg. Does anyone know what caused this?


Edith Haisman.
"She was thrown back, and the second time she did the same thing, and the third time she stopped dead." and in another interview, "When she struck she was going so fast she struck the iceberg and was thrown back, she done it a second time and was thrown back, third time she stopped."


Mr. Ray was asked:
Q - What kind of a shock was it, if any?
A - A kind of a movement that went backward and forward. I thought something had gone wrong in the engine room. I did not think of any iceberg.


Edith Rosenbaum
"I noticed a slight jar, followed immediately by a second one, and a third one which was quite strong enough to make me hold onto the bed post. The boat came to a full stop. I walked forward to my window and saw a grey-whitish mass drifting by." and in another interview, "I felt a slight jar. Then a second one, quickly following a little stronger, and then a third, a sort of bang! Violent enough to make it necessary for me to cling to the bed post. My heart felt as if it were sinking, and I noticed the floor of my room had listed almost immediately; it was on a decided slant, and the boat had come to a full stop. Thrusting my head out of my stateroom window I noticed a large white mass drifting by."


Titanictilt.PNG




Was it caused by the impact against the ship?
Were the engines doing an emergency stop and caused the ship to shunt backwards and forwards?
Was it the grounding over the ice which caused her bottom to jag against it, which rapidly reduced her speed and caused her to shunt forwards three times as she slid over the ice?


Titaniciceberg001a.PNG



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Dec 13, 2016
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Interesting analysis. I wonder if the final hard impact, that "Bang" was around boiler room 4. I do believe some of these sensations can be explained by a grounding event.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Who said it started to flood about an hour later?
Water was already under the stokehold plates but rise over it shortly before 1:20 a.m.
 
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Henry Sincic

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Ioannis,

First off; Nice to meet you! I believe I've read your lifeboat launching timeline, and whilst it differs slightly from my own head-cannon, it is a very well written analysis!

Secondly, I'm unaware of any testimony from those that were in BR. 4 that mention noticing water under the plates. Of course, it is highly possible, and I believe there was probably minor damage done to 4 in the collision, but I'm just unaware of anyone mentioning water before about 1:20 a.m.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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I believe I've read your lifeboat launching timeline, and whilst it differs slightly from my own head-cannon, it is a very well written analysis!
Thank you for the kind words! :)

Secondly, I'm unaware of any testimony from those that were in BR. 4 that mention noticing water under the plates. Of course, it is highly possible, and I believe there was probably minor damage done to 4 in the collision, but I'm just unaware of anyone mentioning water before about 1:20 a.m.
I would need to go though the accounts I think in one of the interviews Dymond gave there is such mention but also Cavell mentioned that the engineers knew about it and were working there (3918-3920) and that it rose over the stokehold plates after before that boiler room was given up (Dillon brought a big suction pipe to BR 4 but did not mentioned that there was water).
 
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Jim Currie

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When a ship traveling at speed hits something, she surges and sways back, forward and sideways. Eevery bulkhead see-saws, creaks and complains. Chairs scrape across decks, items are dislodged noisily. The sensation is much like an aircraft during turbulence, Ask anyone who has hit the pontoon in a sailboat.

As I have told you before, Aaron. There is absolutely no evidence of a grounding. When that happens, everyone is very much aware of it. The sensations I describe above are magnified 10-fold.
Apart from the catastrophic sensation that a sudden loss of stability would bring; the nearest land equivalent I can think of would be twin blowouts on the front tyres of your car traveling at 25 mph.

From the UK Final Report:

"Description of the Damage to the Ship and its Gradual Final Effect
Observations....


The leak in No. 4, supposing that there was one, was only enough to admit about 3 feet of water in that compartment in 1 hour 40 minutes. (Cavell, 4265) (Dillon, 3811)"
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Jim and I disagree about the grounding nature of contact between the ship and iceberg. As the one who first put forth the idea (Last Log Of The Titanic), I feel I must defend my hypothesis. However, in doing so I do not argue with what Jim says about a ship taking a hard grounding such as striking on rocks, etc. Instead, I see something quite different....

Until my 1997 book, it was simply accepted that the hull was sliced open by the iceberg in some sort of 300-foot gash. This despite the fact that scientific evidence was for a series of smaller openings. And, despite the total lack of evidence (still) of any sideswipe damage or gash.

I've worked rivers where barge tows and even large passenger vessels (the Mississippi Queen for one) have grounded on mud or sand banks so quietly that nobody noticed any impact whatsoever. It is only when the crew sees they are no longer passing objects on shore that they realize the situation.

The Mississippi Queen grounding has a funny backstory. The owners weren't satisfied with river captains so brought in a deep water master...who was out of his depth in a river.

And, I've done a nature excursion cruise that required deliberately grounding the bow on a very gently sloping mud, sand, and shingle beach. Each time the sound was as described in Titanic, except of higher pitch because of the much smaller aluminum boat. And, the slowing and stopping was barely noticeable compared to the lifting of the bow as it ran up the slope.

Based on this and other evidence, I envision Titanic as sliding over an underwater extension of the iceberg. It was not a hard grounding at all. It could not have been as the impact was at a slight angle and well lubricated with sea water. But, the starboard side did lift slightly per the lookouts.

The underwater portion of the berg would have been more a "shoulder" than a shelf or knife of ice. It was about 17 feet below the water based on the fact that the peak tank was damaged. Titanic undoubtedly plowed a helluva gash in that ice until the on hard bump described by Boxhall at the "bluff of the bow." This discharged the ice off the berg and down into the well deck.

Rebound from this big bump caused the two to part company at least as far as damage is concerned while boiler room #5 passed. There was a second bump in way of boiler room #4 which caused the mini-avalanche of coal around Cavelle and opened a smalll leak there.

To me, the damage that sank Titanic was not caused by the ice cutting open the steel. Rather, it was a sort of rolling shear caused by the lifting of the bow. The cellular double bottom could acomodate rolling over the ice, but the vertical topsides could not. Where the two joined -- at the turn of the bilge -- the riveted seam had to give. That caused water to enter the ship as described by leading stoker Barrett.

There may...or may not...have been damage to the bottom of the ship. It's immaterial to my theory due to the ship's cellular double bottom.

My theory neatly explains the type of impact described by passengers...the slight rumbling as the ship passed over the ice...the lifting of the starboard side of the bow...the ice in the well deck...and damage to boiler room #4. It explains why firemen sleeping in the bow weren't thrown helter-skelter out of their bunks. It also explains why Fleet and Lee had hopes the ship escaped the berg.

Most of all, a water-lubricated grounding style of sliding impact allows for the ship to turn to its right around the iceberg. This must have happened, else the whole starboard side would have been in contact with the ice and it was not. A sideswipe would have caused the ship to veer sharply left and swing the starboard side into harm's way.

But, with a nod to Jim, it was not a true grounding in any sense of the word. I just use "grounding" to explain the nature of how the ship and berg interacted for lack of a better word. In a true grounding on rocks or hard shingle...things would be as Jim describes.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Aaron_2016

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Thanks. My idea of the grounding is that she just skimmed over the shelf which caused her to brush her bottom against the ice and caused a tremble throughout the ship and possibly a series of jagged edges came into contact as the ship brushed over and caused her to shunt forwards several times e.g. Like tapping your foot on the breaks three times which causes three little pushes forward and gently decelerates the car.

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Jim Currie

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I agree with some of what you write David. However, you wrote:

" I've done a nature excursion cruise that required deliberately grounding the bow on a very gently sloping mud, sand, and shingle beach. Each time the sound was as described in Titanic, except of higher pitch because of the much smaller aluminum boat. And, the slowing and stopping was barely noticeable compared to the lifting of the bow as it ran up the slope."

You cannot compare a vessel grounding on a gently sloping beach to one running over a shelf, David. There is a technical reason for that which I'm sure you already know, David but I won't explain it for fear of driving off out admirers.:rolleyes: However, I can do no better than post the page from naval Architecture textbook.
drydocking 2017-10-01 001.jpg
and let you all work it out for yourselves.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Jim -- I'm glad you posted that page about drydocking because I see the damage to Titanic as very much akin to that which would be done if a block were too high or out of position. The weight of the ship would be unfairly places on a small area. In a drydock, the block might well punch through the shell plating. However, in Titanic's case the lifted area was in constant motion from bow toward the stern because of the ship's forward motion.

Regarding the smaller aluminum boat, my point was not damage but sound and motion. Both were identical to what many of Titanic's survivors described. It was this verisimilitude that got me thinking about why Titanic's accident might not be a sideswipe. Since my first thoughts came from an intentional grounding I stayed with that analogy even though it's not quite accurate as a description of what I envision.

The damage I see was focused on the seam where the vertical sides met the furnaced plates of the bottom -- i.e. the curve of the bilge. Much later I was fortunate to have access to original photos and video of the two pieces of double bottom that came out in way of boiler room #1. The vertical sides are totally missing -- gone clean as a baby's backside. Quite obviously something caused the sides to be pulled off both port and starboard. I think that was Titanic's true weak spot, but not necessarily a design flaw. How else would you build a steel ship of rivet construction?

--David G. Brown
 
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Aaron_2016

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If the Titanic was lightly brushing over a submerged shelf of the iceberg could the weight of the ship break the shelf? If tons were seen falling onto the forward deck and was described as "soft ice" could the ice below the surface which passed under the ship have been relatively easy to break once the weight of the ship brushed over it? e.g. When the ledge passed under boiler room 4 it may have broken off and caused the shock which sent an avalanche of coal around Cavell in boiler room 4.


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Henry Sincic

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David,

I've read something similar on Parks Stephenson's website. The major problem with a grounding theory, at least in my opinion, is the lack of primary evidence stating that a grounding took place.

Harland and Wolff's Edward Wilding was in support of a series of splits rather than a continuous gash. It is my opinion that this is the most likely form of damage. Not to mention, it is helped by the side-scan images (I understand that there is controversy around them, but the damage on the starboard side matches the damage described by survivors)
 
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Aaron_2016

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Is it true that the damage seen on the starboard side can also be seen on the port side? Curious why no photographic mosaic of the port side in HD has been published. Would be interesting to see photos taken from inside boiler rooms 4, 5, 6.

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Dec 4, 2000
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Henry -- The nature of Titanic's damage speaks more in favor of my concept than against it. There must have been contact hard enough to cause openings in the peak tank; holds #1, 2, and 3; and into boiler room #6. Yet, the bow did not yaw to the left as you would expect if the event were a hard-up sideswipe.

Rather, it appears the ship turned to starboard -- toward the berg -- which would be the result of asymmetric "grounding" (i.e. friction) on only the starboard side. And, this makes Murdoch's final helm order of "hard a-port" (right rudder in 1912 parlance) all the more correct. The combination of riding on the berg and right rudder would have pulled the stern with its vital starboard wing propeller away from damage. This, of course, is what quartermaster Rowe on the poop deck though happened.

In my opinion, the damage was done by continuous pressure. And, that could only happen if the ship were riding over an object that supported its double bottom unfairly. This would have created rolling shear along the joint between the flat bottom and the flat sides. That's the furnaced plates along the turn of the bilge.

The ship did "bump" hard-up against the berg at Boxhall's "bluff of the bow" which I place in way of hold #3, forward end.

Everyone envisions an ice shelf extending out under water like a knife blade. That sort of formation would have been too soft to slice through the side of the vessel and most likely too fragile to support the moving weight of the ship. Don't forget, this was an old berg that had probably rolled of its own accord recently. Rolling and disintegrating are what icebergs do in the 40 N latitudes.

What I envision is more of a outward swelling of he berg under water. Titanic rode over the whole of the berg, but just at one edge. It was not an ice shelf or knife blade made of ice. Sadly, if it had been of blade-like cross section the ice would almost certainly have broken and ended damage on Titanic within survivable range.

As far as those horizontal "cracks" or open seams or whatever you want to call them found by echo sounding go, they are a red herring. I've spoken to one man on that expedition who confirmed a blog post by the operator of that equipment. The posting on the web site of the expedition told of seeing the same type of damage in the same area of the port bow as the starboard. My contact confirmed the story. When I told this in my first book, "Last Log Of The Titanic," the blog post was removed and the company that did the soundings has so far refused comment.

So, it is my belief that those horizontal openings are in the bow, but on both sides. As Titanic was only in contact with the iceberg on the starboard side, there is virtually no possibility the damage described was caused by the ice on the surface. The most likely scenario is that the damage in question resulted from impact with the bottom -- which is what my contact told me in confidence.

-- David G. Brown



PS -- After publication of "Last Log" I was contacted by Parks Stephenson who had been working on a "grounding" theory of his own. Rather than argue who had the idea first, we decided to collaborate on the "Grounding White Paper" presented to the Society of Naval Architects. This white paper is posted on his "Marconigraph" web side.
 
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Robby House

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I enjoyed reading the white paper you and Stephenson worked on some time in the early parts of the 2000s as I recall. It's a good read.

Robby
 

Jim Currie

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Jim -- I'm glad you posted that page about drydocking because I see the damage to Titanic as very much akin to that which would be done if a block were too high or out of position. The weight of the ship would be unfairly places on a small area. In a drydock, the block might well punch through the shell plating. However, in Titanic's case the lifted area was in constant motion from bow toward the stern because of the ship's forward motion.

Regarding the smaller aluminum boat, my point was not damage but sound and motion. Both were identical to what many of Titanic's survivors described. It was this verisimilitude that got me thinking about why Titanic's accident might not be a sideswipe. Since my first thoughts came from an intentional grounding I stayed with that analogy even though it's not quite accurate as a description of what I envision.
The damage I see was focused on the seam where the vertical sides met the furnaced plates of the bottom -- i.e. the curve of the bilge. Much later I was fortunate to have access to original photos and video of the two pieces of double bottom that came out in way of boiler room #1. The vertical sides are totally missing -- gone clean as a baby's backside. Quite obviously something caused the sides to be pulled off both port and starboard. I think that was Titanic's true weak spot, but not necessarily a design flaw. How else would you build a steel ship of rivet construction?

--David G. Brown
This has nothing to do with uneven loading of the keel blocks David.

It concerns the phenomenon known as "virtual center of gravity". I remind you:
There is an imaginary fixed point in a ship called the Metacenter. For non-techies, the simple equivalent on land would be the point on a tree branch where you would attach a rope swing.
As long as the position of the Center of Gravity of the ship is below the position of the Metacenter, the ship will return to the upright position when heeled to one side or the other. However, if the CG rises to the same place as M. the ship is in neutral equilibrium. If the CG gets above M, then the ship unstable and will lurch over to the left or right.
If a ship enters the drydock on an even keel; when she lands on the keel blocks, her CG will (virtually)rise suddenly to a point way above her M and she will lurch to one side or the other. Hence, when entering dry dock, the ship is normally trimmed by the head or stern to ensure that as the dock is being pumped out, she will gradually land on the blocks and keep the danger to a minimum. That is why drydock workers progressively and simultaneously, install the side shores as the ship gradually becomes more and more level. Now let's apply this to Titanic.

As Titanic hurtled toward the iceberg, if there had been an ice-shelf across her path, it would have needed to have been at a depth considerably less than 24 feet if it was going to have any effect on the cellular double bottom area of Titanic.other words, it would need to cause a very severe upward thrust on the ship's bottom. OK? A 'slide' across the ice as suggested by Aaron would not do it. Therefore, it would need huge upward force for the inner bottom area below Boiler Room 4 to have been breached to allow entry of seawater below the deck plate. That same force would have damage every double bottom forward of midship.
The C G of Titanic would probably have been a little forward of midship, above the forward end of Boiler Room 5. If the ship's total weight was even momentarily supported by an iceberg shelf in that area, G would have shot up to the height of the masts or even higher and the result of that would not have much worse than three bumps.

Here's one I made earlier:
Titanic..jpg


D'ye catch ma drift?
 

Jim Currie

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Not finished yet, David.

In post #15, you wrote:

"the bow did not yaw to the left as you would expect if the event were a hard-up sideswipe."

In fact, the bow would only be pushed to the left if the ship was
stationary.
You were partly correct when you wrote:

"Rather, it appears the ship turned to starboard -- toward the berg -- which would be the result of asymmetric "grounding" (i.e. friction) on only the starboard side. And, this makes Murdoch's final helm order of "hard a-port" (right rudder in 1912 parlance) all the more correct."

I do not agree with you concerning the reason for Murdoch's second helm order.
At the moment of impact, two things happened. The first would have been,

as you point out, the bow would have swung toward the point of contact. At that same moment, the ship's bow would "bounce" off line to the left of her original track. We actually have evidence of this. There is no way that Titanic pushed that ice of the way or absorbed all of the energy of the impact.
However as more and more of the ship entered clear water beyond the berg,
the hard left rudder quickly took over again and the ship's side swung back to the northward. That is the reason why QM Rowe could almost touch it as it passed the ship.

You finished with:

"In my opinion, the damage was done by continuous pressure. And, that could only happen if the ship were riding over an object that supported its double bottom unfairly. This would have created rolling shear along the joint between the flat bottom and the flat sides. That's the furnaced plates along the turn of the bilge."

Not "only", David.

In fact, if you look at the construction at the margin plate at the round of bilges, you will see that that is possibly one of the most stiffened parts of the vessel. Here's another one I made earlier.;)

celular DBs.jpg









 
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Aaron_2016

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The Olympic touched a mud bank in March 1912. White Star denied the incident yet she was still brought back into dry dock for inspection of her bottom plates. After the inspection was completed her departure from Belfast was delayed on account of a storm and then delayed again because of a lack of coal. Have to wonder if those delays were really a stalling tactic as they conducted repairs, or if those reasons for her delays were genuine following the inspection. As this incident was serious enough to warrant an immediate inspection I have to wonder how strong the Titanic's bottom plates really were, especially if she brushed over the iceberg and buckled plates.


Olympicbelfast1.PNG


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Jim Currie

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Not finished yet, David.

In post #15, you wrote:

"the bow did not yaw to the left as you would expect if the event were a hard-up sideswipe."

In fact, the bow would only be pushed to the left if the ship was
stationary.
You were partly correct when you wrote:

"Rather, it appears the ship turned to starboard -- toward the berg -- which would be the result of asymmetric "grounding" (i.e. friction) on only the starboard side. And, this makes Murdoch's final helm order of "hard a-port" (right rudder in 1912 parlance) all the more correct."

I do not agree with you concerning the reason for Murdoch's second helm order.
At the moment of impact, two things happened. The first would have been,

as you point out, the bow would have swung toward the point of contact. At that same moment, the ship's bow would "bounce" off line to the left of her original track. We actually have evidence of this. There is no way that Titanic pushed that ice of the way or absorbed all of the energy of the impact.
However as more and more of the ship entered clear water beyond the berg,
the hard left rudder quickly took over again and the ship's side swung back to the northward. That is the reason why QM Rowe could almost touch it as it passed the ship.

You finished with:

"In my opinion, the damage was done by continuous pressure. And, that could only happen if the ship were riding over an object that supported its double bottom unfairly. This would have created rolling shear along the joint between the flat bottom and the flat sides. That's the furnaced plates along the turn of the bilge."

Not "only", David.

In fact, if you look at the construction at the margin plate at the round of bilges, you will see that that is possibly one of the most stiffened parts of the vessel. Here's another one I made earlier.;)

View attachment 38669

Spelling always was my :oops:WEEKNESS





 

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